Illustration of cannabis in many forms and at various phases of production

Considering Cannabis

March 1, 2024

“Libraries work when they reflect what’s going on in the community, so of course we started getting people coming to us with information needs about cannabis,” says Lyman, who now runs SPL’s Library to Business program, which provides information to entrepreneurs and helps them develop necessary skills. At the time, Washington was only the second … Continue reading Considering Cannabis

Librarian's Library by Araceli Mendez Hintermeister

Getting Down to Business

March 1, 2024

Libraries That Build Business: Advancing Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Public Libraries Edited by Megan Janicki Libraries are valuable allies for local entrepreneurs, breaking down barriers to technology and information access while fostering community connections. Drawing from ALA’s Libraries Build Business initiative, this book is divided into two parts. The first outlines strategies and considerations … Continue reading Getting Down to Business

Eight people standing with certificates in their hands

A New Start

November 1, 2023

More than 1.8 million people in the United States were incarcerated in a prison or jail at the end of 2021, according to a February 2023 Bureau of Justice Statistics report. Research shows that formerly incarcerated people have more difficulty finding employment than the rest of the population, resulting in lower long-term earnings and other … Continue reading A New Start

Stacey Goddard, public services manager at Spokane County (Wash.) Library District, and Lori Hench, adult and community engagement specialist at Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library, present at “Creating Opportunities to Shop Small: Two Approaches for Public Libraries,” a June 25 session at the American Library Association’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.

A Boost for Business

June 27, 2023

Since 2019, the library’s Pop-Up Shops program has provided a marketplace where local entrepreneurs can connect with customers on Small Business Saturday, routinely held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. “The Pop-Up Shops is essentially a vendor event,” said Karly Feinberg, small business consultant for BCPL. “Since [vendors are] not paying to participate, this can be seen … Continue reading A Boost for Business

Geeta Halley (left), assistant director Round Rock (Tex.) Public Library and Jennifer Byrnes director of Rochester (N.Y.) Public Library's Business Insight Center, at the "Fostering Economic Opportunity and Advancement with Innovative Programming" session at ALA's 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.

Handling Business

June 24, 2023

“The more that they came to the desk, the more I realized, once they took the books off the shelves and left, what happens after that?” said Halley, assistant director of Round Rock (Tex.) Public Library (RRPL). “How do they grow forward and expand their businesses?” Halley and others spoke about libraries supporting entrepreneurs at … Continue reading Handling Business

Episode 83: Supporting Small Business

Call Number Podcast: Supporting Small Business

May 15, 2023

In Episode 83, Call Number highlights how libraries and librarians are supporting small business owners—particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. First, American Libraries Associate Editor Megan Bennett talks with Madeleine Ildefonso, managing librarian at Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL). They discuss LAPL’s Be a Successful Street Vendor program, a new offering … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Supporting Small Business

Brooke Windsor⁠, teen services librarian at Stratford Public Library (SPL) in Ontario⁠, speaks at "Outside and Around Town: The Magic of Harry Potter and the Stratford Adventure” at the 2022 American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C.

Embarking on a Quest

June 26, 2022

Windsor did so by developing a game that invited players to visit Stratford’s local businesses to complete challenges and ultimately win prizes. Harry Potter and the Stratford Adventure was a hit that more than 70 patrons participated in during its three-week run. Windsor detailed the framework of her game and how librarians could implement similar … Continue reading Embarking on a Quest

Illustration of a library building with small business owners (lawn care, baker, contractor) inside and outside (Illustration: Gaby FeBland)

Big Ideas for Small Business

November 1, 2021

In fact, the number of minority-owned small businesses that reported trying and failing to get a loan to help with the pandemic was 60% greater than nonminority-owned small businesses, according to an August 2020 study by the US Chamber of Commerce and MetLife. Additionally, minority-owned small businesses were almost 10% more likely to report that … Continue reading Big Ideas for Small Business

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Fostering New Businesses

February 15, 2019

In Episode 35, Dewey Decibel looks at libraries that are leading the charge. First, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Amy Fisher, information readers services manager, and Morgan Perry, business outreach specialist, at Mid-Continent Public Library in Missouri about that library system’s Square One Business Services program. Next, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Fostering New Businesses

Libraries Helping Entrepreneurs

June 25, 2018

At “Strengthening Libraries as Entrepreneurial Hubs,” a session sponsored by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) at the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans in Sunday, members of ULC’s Learning Cohort discussed practices and approaches for public libraries that want to support contractors, small business, and startups in their communities. “Most businesses fail … Continue reading Libraries Helping Entrepreneurs


Small Business Support

January 2, 2018

SimplyAnalytics After 10 years of providing geographic analytics, SimplyMap relaunched as SimplyAnalytics in mid-2017, with expanded and refined mapping and analytics tools. Researchers can create thematic maps and reports using more than 100,000 data variables. The standard data package includes more than 3,000 variables, including demographics, retail sales, employment, and ancestry. Premium data packages include … Continue reading Small Business Support

Barbara Alvarez

A Conversation with Barbara A. Alvarez

January 13, 2017

Alvarez is corporate communications specialist at Kohler Company. She formerly served as business liaison librarian for Barrington (Ill.) Area Library. She was awarded the Public Librarian Support Award from the Business Reference and Services Section/Morningstar in 2015. An excerpt from her book was published in the January/February 2017 issue of American Libraries. What made you want … Continue reading A Conversation with Barbara A. Alvarez